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FAA Medical required for Ramp Tower Controller?

Discussion in 'Air Traffic Control' started by ktsai91, May 4, 2016.

  1. ktsai91

    ktsai91 Well-Known Member

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    I've been wondering about this for quite awhile and cannot find an answer to this question. Is an FAA medical required to become a Ramp Tower Controller? Or is it not required because most ramp towers are run by the airlines and not the FAA?
     
  2. ajmezz

    ajmezz Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe it's required, but as you said, they're all run by airlines or private companies so it would depend on their policies. It's been a couple years since I interviewed, but I don't believe United required one for the position at KIAH, if that helps at all. I know RVA runs the ramp at KSEA and KFLL and seeing how they run a lot of contract towers, it's possible they require one, but I doubt the airlines care all that much. Where/who are you wondering about and I'll try to find out some info for ya if I can.
     
  3. ktsai91

    ktsai91 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info! I am just asking in general, not for a specific airline or company. That's the answer I am looking for.
     
  4. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    No. I don't know of this being a requirement at any ramp tower. City government, airline, or otherwise privately operated.

    I would say most ramp towers are not run by airlines, it's about 50/50 leaning more towards contractors. As the big thing is to go to the lowest bidder these days, like the rest of aviation. Though, there are some really, really good gigs out there. The problem is, people don't leave them.
     
  5. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    Ramp controllers at McCarran make like $130k
     
  6. ajmezz

    ajmezz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah man, there and with the MWAA at IAD are really good ramp control gigs. Most of those openings tend to go to retiring controllers out of the towers though.
     
  7. Mollymatz

    Mollymatz Member

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    No. You don't require it.
     
  8. smack300

    smack300 Well-Known Member

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    Not really about the medical, but where do you find ramp controller jobs? From the airline or from contractors?
     
  9. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the airport. Most are airline run. Many are contract (I know RVA does FLL and I think SEA among others). Some are county or state.
     
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  10. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    Starting pay is in the $55-80k range. I hear there is a lot of OT. I have a coworker with property in LAS who has been here 15 years and they keep starting the process with him then going with ex-FAA guys. Seems to be one retiring from LAS everytime they hire, which is fairly often. I'm told these retired guys don't stay long, so it's kind of like a good ol' boys club with a revolving door where most people stay 5-8 years. Very hard to get hired there, though. Especially since I think they do FIDS in addition to the ramp control like we do. Moving the airplanes has it's moments, but operationally running a huge portion of an international airport is where the real challenge is, especially when you're moving airplanes at the same time!

    You need to first find the airport, then the specific tower, and then contact someone at that airport via e-mail or phone to find out who runs that tower. Then, apply online or call the company and inquire. The jobs themselves are hard to find if you don't know where to look. Plus most ramp control jobs are near impossible to get in most towers if you don't either know someone or have previous ATC or ramp control experience. The exception is if you work for the company already in another capacity and transfer in. I know in the 4 years I've been working ramp at SFO, only 1 guy was hired without an internal rec in any of the towers. The other guys either started at my shop and transferred to the United tower, or were personal friends of myself or another controller. SEA was short staffed and head-hunting(great pay but 5/8 hour days vs 4/10 hour per week and 2 weeks less vacation then I get here, ain't nobody got time for that!). One of our guys bit, applied, and was asked to move to SEA and start within 2 weeks! That is very rare, however, and they said it was because of his former USAF experience in addition to doing this job.

    While my tower pays well under the going rate for FIDS/ramp at this scale is at other airports, it balances out with QOL as I still live very comfortably with free healthcare with very low copays and my weekend is Thur morning until Sunday night and I get about a month of paid time off per year plus shift trades. As we continue to get raises, people stay. With the exception of LAS, I would be leery of a tower that is always hiring. The good jobs I know of are very rarely posting openings. But the good jobs out there are very, very good jobs for anyone who loves aviation. Hell, I don't feel like I have a job. This is just fun, and it never gets old. Highly recommend it, especially if you are FAA looking to retire and have a chance for one of the top tier towers like SEA or LAS.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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  11. Maximillian_Jenius

    Maximillian_Jenius Super User

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    Why aren't you in Vegas, making that $$$???
     
  12. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    Haha I don't plan on making my money in a ramp tower. I plan on using those days off to eventually CFI, DJ, and produce music and comedy and live the way I want to. Aviation is my passion, not my gold mine. I want 7 figures one day, not just 6. :)
     
  13. Maximillian_Jenius

    Maximillian_Jenius Super User

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    Oh the joy to be young again.... :)
     
  14. ajmezz

    ajmezz Well-Known Member

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    Then reality sets in!
     
  15. smack300

    smack300 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info! I am very interested in it. I have been applying to become an ATCer but I keep failing the questionnaire. So I was hoping to find something quite similar. Seems like both are quite difficult to get into, but I know it's something I want to do.

    I'll start looking for airports now, thanks!
     
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  16. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    Awesome man, I'll send you a PM to get you started. Let me know if I can be of any help for sure!
    I'm sorry, have you spent a day in my reality? Have you met the rappers, singers, artists and concert producers who are supporting me?

    Does spending every waking moment working on that goal have any effect on your "reality"? I'm going to get mine or die trying, be sure of that. Reality is what you make if it, there is a distinct difference between dreaming and doing. And plenty of people have done it.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
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  17. ajmezz

    ajmezz Well-Known Member

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    Haha calm your tits, it was only a little joke. I hope you someday reach your goals.
     
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  18. ozziecat35

    ozziecat35 4 out of 5 great lakes prefer Michigan.

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    When I was a ramp agent for US in PHX, the ramp controller gig was a hot commodity. The only way you'd get in was to transfer in via the company, and I'm fairly sure it was a rotation between jobs, (IE ramp control, then gate assignments/coordination, catering / etc...)
     
  19. Chicagoramptower

    Chicagoramptower New Member

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  20. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    Haha no man I know nothing personal, I just see a lot of people quick to shoot people down for dreaming big and I try and say my piece about it for the kids at home. Nothing but love, homie.
     
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